A Minnesota couple's decision to let the public vote on whether or not they should keep their baby has dismayed pro-lifers.
Pete and Alisha Arnold, both 30, have set up the website www.birthornot.com to allow people to place their vote, as well as share their thoughts and see pictures of the fetus – nicknamed "Wiggles" by the pair.
Alisha is already 17 weeks pregnant, meaning that the unborn baby is entering the stage of growth where it is able to suck its thumb and hear voices.
The couple has given the public until December 7 to vote, just two days before the couple reach the legal limit for an abortion in their home state of Minnesota – 20 weeks, a stage at which it is believed babies can experience pain.
The Arnolds, who experienced two miscarriages, say on their website that the public's vote "will not go unheard."
"The whole point here is to let people have a real way to voice your opinion on the topic of abortion and have it actually make a difference in the real world," they say.
The poll has horrified pro-lifers around the world.
Rebecca Ng, of the London-based Pro-Life Alliance, said the website was "horrifying and objectionable."
"Whatever may or may not be real about this website, the ultrasound of the baby is of a real human being. To think for one minute that his or her experience is going to be determined by those who log on and vote is absolutely spine-chilling," she said.
At one point, there were more votes for the pair to abort their baby but in the last few days, the site has seen a significant increase in the number of votes for the birth to go ahead after some pro-lifers began rallying people to vote against the abortion.
Out of more than 70,000 votes polled, 56,000 people want the couple to give birth – nearly 80 percent of the votes so far.
Multiple people have even offered to adopt if the vote result is to abort the baby, the couple wrote in their latest update.
Meanwhile, some pro-lifers are choosing to stay away from the poll altogether.
Anthony Ozimic, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said they were advising people not to vote at all because the entire concept of the poll was "wrong."
"We are not encouraging people to participate in this vote because the child's right to life is unshakable regardless of what a poll says and it is simply wrong to subject it to vote. We should refuse to make that choice," he said.